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Damien O’Brien, currently based in Zurich, is the Chairman of Egon Zehnder. Since joining the firm in 1988, he has worked in its Hong Kong, London, Sydney, and Paris offices. Damien’s leadership roles have included oversight of the global industry and functional practices and responsibility for operations and professional development worldwide. In a client-facing capacity, he has mainly been active in the Private Equity Practice and the Board Advisory, although today he spends most of his time visiting clients and colleagues across the firm’s 68 offices worldwide. Damien played a key role in developing the firm’s Leadership Assessment and Development Practice and, earlier in his career, led the establishment of Egon Zehnder’s China Practice.

I’m passionate about supporting our clients and candidates on their personal journeys and energized by working with a truly global team characterized by seamless collaboration and endless respect.

Damien served as Egon Zehnder’s CEO from 2008 until 2014, when he appointed Rajeev Vasudeva to succeed him. He was elected to his current role as Chairman in 2010. Damien is a member of the chairman’s community of the World Economic Forum and sits on the foundation and supervisory boards of the IMD Business School. Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Damien was an Associate at McKinsey in Australia. Earlier, he held various management positions in a family-owned corporate group in Australia.

Damien holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales. He also earned a Diploma in Theology and Philosophy from Saint Columban’s College in Sydney, which included two years of study and community work in the Philippines.

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Content by Damien O’Brien

Forbes India – In the Old Days You Could Buy Talent with Money

Forbes India – In the Old Days You Could Buy Talent with Money

Egon Zehnder Chairman Damien O’Brien spoke to Forbes India’s Manu Balachandran about the evolution of company boards and identifying new leaders.

Corporate leadership: lessons from professional service firms

Corporate leadership: lessons from professional service firms

Professional service firms are very different from other commercial enterprises. They typically lack the hard-nosed bottom line focus and hierarchical management structure of most companies.

Jacob Wallenberg

Jacob Wallenberg

“Dynamic continuity has always been our way of looking at life.”

“Organizations need an infrastructure that acts as a pipeline, channeling ideas from remote facilities to the center of power.”

“Organizations need an infrastructure that acts as a pipeline, channeling ideas from remote facilities to the center of power.”

Egon Zehnder Chairman Damien O’Brien on fostering diversity and inclusion.

The Economic Times – Volatility Calls for Value-Based Leadership

The Economic Times – Volatility Calls for Value-Based Leadership

In today’s changing, volatile world the task of leadership has become much more difficult and challenging. What attributes do today’s leaders need to succeed, asks India’s The Economic Times in an interview with Egon Zehnder’s CEO Rajeev Vasudeva and Chairman Damien O’Brien.

Board Diversity: Fathers Open Doors for Daughters

Board Diversity: Fathers Open Doors for Daughters

High-flying fathers dismayed by the prejudice blocking the careers of their bright, ambitious daughters are now working harder to level the playing field. This shift in thinking, reports the International Business Times, was clearly reflected a recent panel debate entitled “Leaders And Daughters” hosted by Egon Zehnder as part of its “25 by 25” campaign.

Connecting with China

Connecting with China

Connecting Chinese and UK leaders was the focus of a Private Dinner Event hosted by Egon Zehnder and its Chairman Damien O’Brien on January 19th 2015 in London.

Leadership and the art of listening

Leadership and the art of listening

In an interview with the Business Times, Egon Zehnder Chairman Damien O'Brien reflects on the 50 year history of the firm, and the evolution of leadership in the era of globalisation.

The world is looking for different kinds of leaders

The world is looking for different kinds of leaders

In a recent interview with the Times of India, Egon Zehnder Chairman Damien O'Brien and CEO Rajeev Vasudeva reflected on the leadership qualities – particularly the ability to champion diversity – required for success in a rapidly globalizing world.

Rajeev Vasudeva Appointed to Egon Zehnder CEO Role Joins Chairman Damien O'Brien to Advance Firm's Global Growth Agenda

Rajeev Vasudeva Appointed to Egon Zehnder CEO Role Joins Chairman Damien O'Brien to Advance Firm's Global Growth Agenda

Egon Zehnder today announced changes in the firm's global leadership team as current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Damien O'Brien appointed Rajeev Vasudeva as its Chief Executive Officer.

How To Be A Leader

How To Be A Leader

Faith in leadership is being tested: character traits and personal values hold the key to restoring confidence, argues Egon Zehnder Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Damien O’Brien in MT Management Today.

The Future Paradigm in People Decisions

The Future Paradigm in People Decisions

The War for Talent has not fallen victim to the current financial crisis, argues Damien O’Brien, CEO and Chairman of Egon Zehnder.

Building the Executive Talent Portfolio: A Strategic Imperative for Energy CEOs

Building the Executive Talent Portfolio: A Strategic Imperative for Energy CEOs

While the energy sector is right to focus on “the big crew change” – the race to replace broad swaths of its aging workforce – an equally compelling challenge looms in the executive suite.

The private equity board: a good governance model?

The private equity board: a good governance model?

In a recent study which analysed 70 successful private equity deals, perhaps surprisingly, McKinsey found that the primary source of value creation in the majority of these deals was the out performance of the company – not price arbitrage, not financial engineering and not overall sector gains or stock market appreciation – just better management of the business.

Building a brand of trust

Building a brand of trust

Corporate leaders discount the impact of trust at their peril. Trust holds the key to inspiring a sense of ownership and building self-esteem.

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